View Full Version : Because of the comics...

22-02-09, 05:47 PM
Ever since the comics came out the the timeline has been a bit funny. recently since the end of After The Fall we seem to have it tidied up abit.

Not im a huge fan of canon and timelines. They are important to what makes a series a success and more real.

So i decided to make a small timeline.

-Chosen-May 2003
-Not Fade Away-May 2004
-After The fall-May 2004 (Techincally it takes place over a while but im looking at it as if it lasted one night, as it techincally did)
-After The Fall 17-June 2004
-Long Way Home-November-2004
-The Chain-November 2004
-No Future For You-November-December 2004
-Anywhere But Here-December 2004
-A Beautiful Sunset-January 2005
-Time of Your Life-January 2005
-After These Messages-February 2005
-Harmonic Divergence-March 2005
-Swell-March 2005
-Predators and Prey-March 2005
-Safe-March 2005
-Living Doll-March 2005
-Oz Arc-April 2005
-Penultimate Arc-April 2005
-Last Arc-May 2005

Now people may disagree with me now but i do believe that it is set a year and a half after Chosen. And i know we have alot of Pop culture refrences about recent stuff but the way i explain this is that things happen in the Buffyverse differently. E.g, they mention ledgers death in Preadtors and Prey, maybe Ledger died in the Buffyverse earlier. Maybe Daniel Craig is more famous earlier in the Buffyverse. Things happen differently.

Vampire in Rug
22-02-09, 08:45 PM
Why do you think "The Chain" happened before "Long Way Home"?

22-02-09, 09:19 PM
Oh wait i forgot that the main story is set in the present. Sorry. I was only thinking of the flash back pages. My bad.

23-02-09, 04:38 AM
Chosen didn't happen in may. it happened 19 days before Conviction/Just Rewards and Unleashed is only a month after that and Nina has only been a werewolf 5 times (5 months) in Smile Time. Conviction also happens to feature school children. Smile Time's teaser also happens to be a week after Valentine's Day, though the rest of the episode is in March (this stuff is all hinted at in dialog)--it lines up with March's full moon.

Long story short, Chosen is in August. Which means... SUMMER SCHOOL! Also episodes 7 though 22 of AtS season 4 happen in 4 weeks.

Believe me, I've thought about this far longer than it is probably healthy to do so.

Forget air dates. There are a lot of variables from in-episode clues.

Enjoy my labor (revised edition!):


23-02-09, 12:22 PM
Nile, you truly are the ultimate nerd. :) Thanks a bunch for saving me from doing all these clever calculations myself (I'd have grown tired of it at some point anyway since I'm a lazy sod, but thanks anyway). :) This truly is impressive work, nailign this all down by exact dates.
Did you use any background material?

23-02-09, 04:15 PM
Some of it is 'in the vicinity of' (a.k.a. bullsh*t--these dates are more or less 'it probably happened around this month'). A lot of it is from all sorts of sources like stated days of the week, hints at how many weeks or months are in between events, moon cycles--extremely useful, stated dates, school days (again--extremely useful), counting days in episodes, counting costume changes in montages that tell you it is a different day, computer screens, holidays (May Queen = May Day, Christmas, Halloween), etc...

A good example of an 'in the vicinity of' date is Dawn's birthday being when they first moved there (meaning before the summer with Hank) and either in late May or early June--post-The Gift and pre-summer vacation.

Air dates are a general guide, but stated information takes priority over air dates.

Any time that there is a werewolf event or a really prominent moon shot, those are hard to argue as being any different.

Some things like Buffy's birthday can be pinned down as January 20th because of school schedules. If it where the 19th, there would be at school on a Sunday (unlikely). It's the only date that always works.

Some stuff comes from episode scripts where the day of the week is stated there or in deleted dialog (which I include). Buffy's work schedule at Sunnydale High being Mon/Wed/Fri is from a script, for example. You'll also notice a few deleted scenes in there that fill in extra days from episodes like Angel and City of...

And I've plugged in every comic that I can possibly fit into there without contradicting canon (just a few passages of dialog you have to mentally blank out here and there). I'd love someone who has the books to add that stuff, too. The India Cohen and Faith books, in particular, need to be fit into the timeline. The 1996 Hemery stuff is a mixture of the movie, The Origin, the script and clues from the series (like Grueller's death--identified as the left tackle in the script--with the X-Acto knife) all plunked in together. And of course, the year 1 comic run (I love that series! My favorite comics by far.).

As for Harmony Bites, I used MTV's other reality show schedulings to figure out when reality shows are filmed and aired. New shows are usually picked up in May and reality shows are filmed from August to November and then air in January.

23-02-09, 04:24 PM
Non-canon works don't need to comply with any timeline.

We know from Scott that the comics are not meant to have a hard and fast timeline, and that they took license with the Daniel Craig thing and didn't mean for that to move from the "year and a half after" idea. But the preview for 8.23 makes it much harder to suspend disbelief, since it is a *lot* of pop culture references that date as recently as a few months ago ("Quantum of Solace").

Wolfie Gilmore
23-02-09, 04:27 PM
I thought that the comics were just taking place over a longer period of time than the show? It'd be nice to have some clues about when things are happening though.

It does annoy me, the idea of the timeline not adding up. Ok, maybe that's just a bit nerdy, but it does un-suspend my disbelief somewhat.

23-02-09, 04:36 PM
I have a few books (very few, actually), but they have certain contradictions with canon in them, so I never thought they'd matter on a timeline.

"Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row" actually gives exact dates for events, everything taking place roughly between spring and autumn of 1940.
"Blood and Fog" takes places somewhere between Wrecked and As You Were and pretty much in one day, night and following day.
"Cursed" starts immediately after the events of "As You Were".

23-02-09, 04:45 PM
Let me put it this way... You have no bloody clue how long it took me on the internet to find the air date of Brian Boitano in Carmen on Ice from 1990. I found it. It's there. That's how nerdy that timeline is.

Blood & Fog and Cursed sound relevant. I haven't bothered to hand-type a few centuries' worth of calendars, though, so if I ever get around to the historical stuff, I'll probably just do it by year with dates where they are given. I'm sticking with just 1990-2009 so far.

The gypsy massacre (and Angelus' birthday by proxy) is actually dated in one of the comics. A lot of 'birthdays' are air dates or actors' birthdays (I only give these placeholder status). Xander's actually should be given a placeholder status of 'before Buffy's' because of him already being 17 in Innocence.

The calculation that probably pissed me off the most was 100 days from a stated Saturday (Bad Girls) isn't a Friday (Graduation Day). That one took some wrangling, but I think I made it work.

Oh, and The Zeppo's moon schedule made me have to move the episode a month forward from the air date's month in order to avoid the evil school on weekends problem.

Things are where they are for a lot of reasons. Of course, you can imagine that AtS season 4/BtVS season 7 and AtS season 5 were a hoot to put together. AtS season 5 was really into giving date guidelines that affected placement of the previous season of both shows.

23-02-09, 04:49 PM
I guess you did this a lot more carefully than even the writers.

23-02-09, 06:29 PM
Why bother to bring in the novels, though? They aren't canon, they have no "timeline" that applies. Nor do probably 90% of any named Slayers, who are again, not canon characters.

The best explanation for the birthdays is... summer birthdays. I figure Xander was probably 17 at the start of junior year already, and probably Willow as well.

23-02-09, 06:34 PM
I'm not attempting canon. I'm attempting anything that doesn't contradict canon. ;) Hence, all the script goodies, comics, books, etc...

There are a handful of things that obviously don't fit (there's quite a bit you have to ignore in the canon series, too--all the sire, year and next Slayer oopsies), but there's a lot that does.

First off, "we were five" makes one believe that at the start of kindergarten, when Xander and Willow met, they were both five. If, say, Xander was held back a year, he'd have been 6. So, he wasn't held back a year. Schools here make people who are born after November of the previous year go to school with the next year's age group. So, his birthday is in November, December or January (pre-January 20th).

23-02-09, 06:39 PM
Is that a state rule, or a district by district rule?

I try not to bog down in the long timeline, because it'll make you crazy. Short timeline is easier. Like, for instance, "Dirty Girls" through "Chosen" being 3 days at the minimum, a week at the longest.

24-02-09, 12:59 PM
How big does a canon contradiction have to be for you to exclude it? The contradicting bit in "Blood and Fog" is that it clearly takes place after "Wrecked" because Buffy and Spike are having an affair already, but Willow is still using magic at times, without Buffy really disapproving, yet in canon she tells Tara she truly has gone without magic (that might be a lie, then, except if she's been counting days from after the events in "Blood and Fog", if we're trying to fit that in).

24-02-09, 03:01 PM
If you can kind of give me the gist of events (about as long as a little calendar square) that happen on each specific day, I can see what works and what doesn't.

Go Ask Malice is the other book that I would love a day-by-day timeline for.

My rules are pretty lenient. If it's like a few lines of dialog that don't work, but the story otherwise works just fine, I use it. It depends on how many days I have to shift apart to make Willow's days without magic work. Or Willow can be once again hiding things from Tara (like not getting rid of all of her magic supplies after she was supposed to).

For example, there's a comic where it is insinuated that Sheila knows about Oz being Willow's boyfriend before Gingerbread, but it still doesn't change the plotline of Willow getting kidnapped by vampires on Halloween 1998. You just have to mentally cross out all the dialog relating to that. Then again, I consider several lines of dialog in actual episodes to not being canon (again, regarding sires, years and the Slayer line).

An example of a comic that doesn't work is one that takes place while Angel is at the bottom of the ocean during a plotline revolving getting Faith out of prison, battling old BtVS enemies and telling Buffy about Connor. It's actually not the Connor revelation that makes me take it out of the canon list (though if Buffy ever does find out in a way that is insinuated to be the first time, it's even further gone from insertion), but the fact that Angel is at the bottom of the ocean at the only possible time the comic could take place takes it out of the timeline.

And the author of the one Spike/Halfreck story actually had to come tell people online that the comic he wrote wasn't during season 5 AtS, but Spike paying a visit to L.A. sans soul to bug Angel right after Hell's Bells (though, not shown--and perhaps he got sidetracked with Halfreck and Wexler on the way). And this would also explain why Halfreck wasn't dead post-Selfless, because it doesn't take place post-Selfless.

24-02-09, 04:50 PM
Having read the timeline given here, I thought I'd actually do my own because I don't think it fits in the Buffyverse for them to have events occur at different times, for example Heath Ledger's death or the James Bond thing, and if they have then it's really stupid, so I took into account the dates of the key events given and composed this:

Chosen - May 2003
Not Fade Away - May 2004
After The Fall - May-August 2004
The Chain - September 2004
The Long Way Home - January-February 2005
No Future For You - August-October 2006
Anywhere But Here - November 2006
A Beautiful Sunset - December 2006
Wolves At The Gate - May 2007
Time of Your Life - August 2007
After These Messages... - October 2007
Harmonic Divergence - January 2007-January 2008
Swell - January 2008
Predators and Prey - February 2008

The only sketchy part there is the gap between The Long Way Home and No Future For You, but I think it's quite excusable if you take into consideration that the first arc ended in a way where there could be any length of time between it and the No Future For You as we don't see Buffy again until the arc and it doesn't seem like it's been away that long, but it may have, also, you have to think about how long Faith was being trained by Giles in order to go undercover.

The reason why I gave such a gap for Harmonic Divergence (June-December) is because we see Harmony filming the show, which would've happened before being aired in September and we're not actually told how far into the show's run it is that Harmony kills the slayer, it could be right at the beginning of the season or toward the end, I gave it a rough amount of 11 episodes and that would correlate with Swell being in January and the Predators and Prey being in February, given that Heath Ledger died toward the end of January.

24-02-09, 06:26 PM
MTV's reality shows appear to be filmed during the summer/fall and aired starting in January. Well, honestly I just looked up the schedule for the Real World.

Nonetheless, I've always gotten the impression that reality shows are completely filmed before they start airing (usually the summer/fall before). Scripted shows usually film about five episodes ahead, from what I've heard. Some late-pick-up first seasons (probably mostly mid-season replacements) are filmed completely before airing, however.

All the Harmony Bites/Vampy Cat stuff should take a good chunk of a year to happen. It makes sense that a lot of time splits the season regarding those plot elements. You don't just get a paparazzi sighting, a reality T.V. show deal, clearly being several episodes into the reality show, magazine articles, a cartoon and stuffed animals overnight.

My belief is that season 8 is late 2006 to early 2008 so far with Harmony taking up most of 2007.

It also gives Buffy's group three years to collect all the massive wealth they did. If you want to know about what happens in 2004, read season 6 AtS (and yes, with all the connected titles surrounding a singular plotline it now has, it deserves to be called that--at least unofficially).

24-02-09, 06:45 PM
Any premise that proceeds from the idea that months and months are going by between issues and arcs is just not going to hold up. It's far, far, far more sensible, if one is no longer able to acknowledge what we were already told are inattentive pop culture references, to just assume that the *whole season* takes place in 2008-2009. But the pace of the story and the subject matter make it more or less implausible that it could be spread out over more than a few months so far.

Where the pace of the story and a hyper-intensive realism about the production rules of, for instance, a reality TV show come into conflict, what makes sense for the story wins.

25-02-09, 02:56 AM
I took Harmony's reality TV show in issue 21 to have taken months and months to produce, leading up to the present time in issue 21. I assume that she fed off of Andy Dick soon after L.A. came back from Hell, maybe four to six months afterward. She banked on her fame thereafter and got a reality show greenlit maybe a year to eight months before the present time, which started releasing episodes a month or a month and a half before issue 21. The present time being no more than four months after the beginning of Season 8.

25-02-09, 03:25 AM
I took Harmony's reality TV show in issue 21 to have taken months and months to produce, leading up to the present time in issue 21. I assume that she fed off of Andy Dick soon after L.A. came back from Hell, maybe four to six months afterward. She banked on her fame thereafter and got a reality show greenlit maybe a year to eight months before the present time, which started releasing episodes a month or a month and a half before issue 21. The present time being no more than four months after the beginning of Season 8.

Yeah that's how I saw it as well, most of that issue was set in the past until the very end where it's now in the present.

25-02-09, 01:13 PM
Nile, I'll get in touch once I'm done with Cursed (just started reading it, but not much time sadly), and then give "Blood and Fog" another go to make sure I remember the time correctly.

25-02-09, 04:06 PM
I realized this morning that my math was wrong in my previous post. I was counting a year and a half from Not Fade Away/After the Fall rather than Chosen. My assumption still remains the same (that Harmony's story takes place over a period of months leading up to the present), but the period of time would have to be 9 or 10 months rather than a year and a half.

26-02-09, 12:35 AM
Actually, I think I can prove that it's not completely in the past leading up to the present.

If we are going by MTV's reality program scheduling, the show would be filmed in the summer/fall (which is when Soledad's death would occur). If season 8 takes place in fall/winter 2004 and winter/spring 2005, the reality show would take place before Dawn turns into a centaur (which she clearly is when Buffy is talking to Soledad on the phone). Dawn would be a giant still during fall 2004. Soledad's calling happened after Dawn's second transformation. This also proves that Dawn is spending quite a few months as a centaur any way you cut it. We're arguably around February/March with Swell and Dawn's been a centaur at least as long as Soledad was called while Harmony's show was still being filmed. Dawn's been a centaur for a minimum of half a year.

Also, Harmony's show would start airing in January. Then you have the People magazine announced after the show has started airing (the ratings are soft). That comes out at the end of the month. Then you see Buffy and Willow reading it. So we're at least a month into the show being aired. That makes it at least February.

Let's say that the end of the reality show filming season is November (actually early December is the most likely for Time of Your Life because of the Hanukkah reference) and that's when Dawn changes into a centaur. That would push the Soledad episode airing way into the end of the season (like May) if the episodes are aired in order. But there are at least four episodes after the Soledad episode airs, which means that April is the latest it could air.

The year of Harmony's discovery and filming being in 2007 with the show airing in early 2008 (making the Heath Ledger reference timely) is more likely. 2006 to 2008 is the most likely time-frame.

26-02-09, 01:21 AM
Season 8 being spread over more than a year, let alone more than two years, makes no narrative sense at all. It's so minutia driven that it misses the story.

Take the gap between "Wolves at the Gate" and "Time of Your Life". Days, a couple weeks *at most*. At absolute most. Unless one assumes that Willow has taken months to decide to follow-up on the lead she got in Tokyo, unless it's been months for Buffy or Willow to even bring up, accidentally, Renee's death. It doesn't track at all.

The only times I can see any real time going by since Season 8 started are between "The Long Way Home" and "No Future For You" (a month, maybe two -- not much more, though, since they wouldn't have just decided not to do any follow-up or any fortification for months after the attack) and between "Time of Your Life" and "After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back" -- maybe another month or so of the team relocating and Buffy working out her frustration by hunting.

03-03-09, 03:30 PM
For example, there's a comic where it is insinuated that Sheila knows about Oz being Willow's boyfriend before Gingerbread, but it still doesn't change the plotline of Willow getting kidnapped by vampires on Halloween 1998.

And in the Book One Thing Or Your Mother, she's graunded for Sheila before Gingerbread. Also Blooded is supposed to be in season 2 but Angel already get his soul back.

And Nile, congratullations for this huge work:2party: